The Blues Came Calling
Life-affirming album from an elder statesman of the blues
It’s common knowledge that nearly 50 years of living life to the full in the Rock business is taking its toll on Walter Trout; and hopefully by the time you read this he will have had the liver transplant he so desperately needs.
Instead of sitting at home feeling very sorry for myself; Mr. Trout has kept himself busy in the last couple of years touring virtually non-stop and in his spare time recording this album of 10 originals, a JB Lenoir cover and something written especially for the project by his good friend John Mayall.
Opening track ‘Wasting Away’ stopped me right in my tracks as the title is a tongue in cheek slant on his condition; telling us that his body may be ‘Wasting Away’ but the punchy lyrics and barroom boogie approach tell a different story; this guy ain’t going peacefully!
‘The Bottom of the River’ is the only other song here to broach his illness where he uses a drowning man, on the verge of giving up as a metaphor for his own illness, then the man finds that he has just enough strength to fight the current one last time and……….well; Walter his still here today fighting the good fight. It’s a cracking song in its own right too.
Everything else here is what a good friend calls ‘Meat and Potato Blues;’ which in Trout’s case is pure Aberdeen Angus and Jersey Royals; because this album is quality from start to finish; full of short sharp guitar flourishes; a tight rhythm section plus guest artist harmonica and organ interludes that will scare the Devil.
‘Willie’ is a lowdown standard dirty Blues tune with wailing harmonica; pounding drum ‘n’ bass supporting some of the damn finest guitar playing this side of the Rio Grande and Walter tells the tale of rip-off merchant in a nice lazy drawl too.
Speaking of which; in the past Walter Trout could be a bit too ‘shouty’ for my liking; but here he uses his voice to the best of his current abilities and it sounds slow, gruff and even a little bit sexy at times, which is just perfect for Blues of this nature.
British Blues legend John Mayall; who Walter Trout first found fame with makes a few appearances; most notably with the instrumental ‘Mayall’s Piano Boogie’ and the title track ‘The Blues Came Calling’ which is nothing new but spellbinding all the same; with Mayall grooving away on the Hammond B3 like a man possessed.
The album ends with beautiful love song; ‘Nobody Moves Me Like You Do’ which is dedicated to Trout’s wife Marie who has stuck by him through all of his trials and tribulations; and it’s a fine way to end the album too.
As I said earlier Walter Trout has no intention of going out without a fight and pound for pound this may just be his best ever album.
Released UK & Europe 2nd June 2014
Released USA 10th June 2014